House Panel Tells The TSA No One But Jay-Z Should Be Patting Down Beyonce

Listen up, Transportation Security Administration — the House knows you desperately want to be cool and improve your image, and frisking internationally known superstars and other recognizable famous people isn’t helping. Which means when it comes to patting down Beyonce, don’t.

The House Homeland Security Transportation Subcommittee submitted a few ideas for the TSA on how to fix its poor public image. That includes not patting down people like former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as well as pop stars, reports the Los Angeles Times.

“There are certain people that are just so well-known that you’ve just got to use your common sense,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the subcommittee. “Because if you start patting them down, people are going to say, ‘They’re patting down Beyonce.’ “I mean, she’s not going to blow a plane up.”

Well, probably not, Mr. Rogers, but it makes such a good story to tell your pals after a hard day at work.

The subcommittee was attempting to give the TSA a few helpful pointers, to try to fix its “poor customer service image and become a leaner, smarter agency.”

The TSA has made some efforts recently, introducing things like its new PreCheck system and less-intrusive screening methods for customers. Passengers 75 and older now get to leave their shoes and jackets on as they go through security.

But unless you’re Beyonce or over 75, as part of the pool of 600 million people screened every year, you might not be noticing any positive changes.

“The American people are just really disgusted and outraged with the department that they see is bloated and inefficient,” Rogers said, complaining that the TSA is moving at a “snail’s pace” to improve its image.

Despite that public perception of how annoying the TSA can be, complaints filed against it have been decreasing. In March, 56 million people were screened and only 1,294 complaints were lodged against the agency, compared to the 55 million screened in March 2011 and 1,445 complaints.

No word on whether any of those complaints were on behalf of Beyonce, Kissinger or Rumsfeld.

House panel gives TSA advice on improving its image [Los Angeles Times]


Edit Your Comment

  1. BelleSade says:

    What makes celebrities special? I know the TSA’s function is to supposedly stop terrorists from boarding planes but… celebrities also use drugs, and also forget that damn ziplock 30ml liquid BS rule.

    • Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

      And Alec Baldwin who’s assumed “harmless” with his phone?

    • homehome says:

      What makes celebrities special? I don’t know, maybe the fact that they can single handedly generate thousands to millions of dollars. Some people may say so what, but some people are priveledged (sp). That’s the way the world is.

      • CTrees says:

        “Equal protection under the law” doesn’t leave much room for “but she earns a lot of money by being pretty and parroting song lyrics.”

        Also, celebrities commit the same crimes us plebes do, including drugs and drunken, violent rampages. Murder and kidnapping, even! Granted, they tend not to get the same punishments, but there’s no reason to think them less of a security risk.

        • homehome says:

          In the real world, ppl are priviledged, you can quote all the laws, declarations, statutes, etc you want, but the fact is it’s happening and will continue to happen.

          • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

            But, see, the TSA itself is admitting that it’s crotch grabs are security theater. If they were so effective at stopping terrorism, they couldn’t possibly let celebrities and the privileged through without screening.

    • Bill610 says:

      I personally would rather ashcan the whole TSA. Reinforced cockpit doors and the fact that passengers will no longer tolerate a hijacking as they were instructed to do pre 9/11 ensure that we will not have another 9/11 style attack, so TSA is less than worthless.

      That said, while celebrities should not be exempted from the same treatment as everyone else, but the TSA is not there to catch people carrying drugs. And the whole point of the stupid liquids ban is to keep planes from blowing up, so if you don’t think that a celebrity will blow up a plane, then there’s no reason to keep them from taking large quantities of liquid through security, either.

      • nishioka says:

        > so TSA is less than worthless.

        Not to mention the fact that if actual law enforcement failed to stop a terrorist plot, a bunch of overweight rent-a-cops at the airport aren’t going to help either.

    • Cleo256 says:

      Celebrities have louder voices and will be heard more if they complain. This is about nothing more than marketing.

    • Matt Park says:

      Certain celebrities are sort of a well known quantity. Same with government officials. Through massive public scrutiny we know that they are not terrorists. Thus they do not need to be searched for bombs, etc.

      TSA isn’t supposed to search you for the purpose of finding drugs. So If you’re obviously not a terrorist, then they have no reason to search you.

  2. Chris W. says:

    Not a single person should be excluded from security procedures that everyone else has to go through to get on the same aircraft-especially “stars” and others that think they should in fact be excluded because they are so “special”.

  3. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    So it’s okay to break the rules for your own popularity, but you can’t bend them for 3 year olds?

    • msbask says:

      I would like to know why the TSA thinks that *I* am more likely to blow up a plane than Beyonce or any other “celebrity”.

      I don’t take drugs, carry a gun in the ‘hood, cheat on my spouse, check myself into rehab, check myself into hospitals for ‘exhaustion’, lose my shit and shave my head, drive drunk, cut in line, cheat on my taxes, go on alcohol binges, destroy hotels rooms, beat my spouse or anything else that you read about various celebrities doing every day. (Charlie Sheen, I’m lookin’ at you).

      How the hell am *I*the bigger risk??

  4. eturowski says:

    Nope. If the plebes get patdowns, then so do the “Do You Know Who I Am”s.

    Otherwise, we’re going to have an epidemic of wannabe celebutantes wailing indignantly, “But you CAN’T pat me down! I’m the third cousin of one of Kesha’s backup dancers!”

    Or, the TSA could just give it up already and improve its image by not wasting billions of taxpayer dollars on security theater.

  5. Gman says:

    Nothing says how stupid and useless the security theater is than saying that celebs don’t have to go through with it.

    I don’t care who you are. If I have to do it, so do you.

    I’m fine with priority lanes, but they should be required to follow all of those rules and background checks. Not automatic filtering and status because they are famous.

  6. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    Perfect place to post this link to a blog on CSO magazine’s site. Yes, that is Chief Security Officer Magazine. This is for the real security people at Fortune 50 companies. These are the real people that try and plan for stuff like what happens if someone sets off a bomb while in line for a security screening at the SuperBowl?

    He defended the TSA a while ago then came up with the following:

    I can’t ignore what’s in front of me. I have to admit it: I was wrong.

    Much has been said and written about the TSA as nothing more than security theater — something that’s there for show, to make people feel safer, even though in reality we’re not all that safer than we were on 9-11-01. But it’s becoming clear that we’re dealing with something far more unacceptable than security theater.

    This is Big Brother chipping away at our freedom of movement, abusing power on a daily basis in the process, in the name of security.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      This should be required reading for all of us.

  7. sadie kate says:

    Well, great. Now the terrorists are going to hide a bomb in Beyonce.

  8. castlecraver says:

    The collective disgust and frustration of millions of average folks has done absolutely nothing to eliminate this practice, so why should a privileged few get special treatment?

    Except this is pretty much how America works now.

    No exceptions. Ever. Then perhaps enough of the privileged few will become disgusted enough that this gets fixed.

  9. Admiral_John says:

    No… if I have the chance of being chosen for a random pat-down when I fly, then so does Donald Rumsfeld, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Ozzy Osbourne and Jesus himself.

    • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

      Hhhhmmm. Middle eastern, long hair, kind of scraggly looking in most depictions, claims his father is G*d, mother is a virgin. I think Jesus moves to the front of the line.

  10. Murph1908 says:

    Ok. So now the list of passengers excluded from the screening the rest of us must endure is:

    The elderly
    Powerful politicians

    Sorry, Grandma, Harry and Beyonce. The rules don’t work if everybody doesn’t have to follow them. A 65 year old woman brought a gun onto a plane recently. Celebrities often have an attitude of self-entitlement that makes giving them a pass dangerous.

    And there has NEVER been a politician that turned against the US, right? /s

  11. chucklebuck says:

    I wonder if this applies to M.I.A. or Cat Stevens?

  12. nbs2 says:

    I’m tempted to make a sex tape, if that’s what it takes to stop getting molested by TSA.

  13. CrazyEyed says:

    How does giving Beyonce a pass help the image of the TSA. If anything It pisses me off knowing TSA is showing favoritism. Just screen everyone equally and we can avoid convoluted TSA procedures.

    • Mark702 says:

      You mean screen nobody. We don’t need the TSA, don’t want the TSA, can’t afford the multi-Billion dollar boondoggle of the TSA.

      • CrazyEyed says:

        Yes I do mean that but there does have to be SOME level of screening to ensure people do not smuggle harmful things on an airplane.

  14. yaos says:

    These senators are morons. “I know this person so they are okay” is one of the oldest social engineering tricks there is.

  15. Portlandia says:

    Fuck this, everyone should be treated equally. I don’t care if you’re a senator, a congressman, Beyonce or the head of the TSA. You should all be forced through the same ridiculous searches that everyone else is forced to endure.

  16. bitslammer says:

    Why the hell woudl Beyonce ever fly commercial. I’d think she could afford to charter a private jet. On most of those the security walk through is pretty minimal.

  17. chargernj says:

    I think it’s telling that a Republican was the one telling us that certain (high net worth) individuals shouldn’t be screened. They are just trying to get the rest of us used to our status as plebes.

    • perruptor says:

      If I had a public image that I wanted to improve, the very absolute last people I would take advice from would be congressmen. Have you seen their popularity ratings?

  18. TheMansfieldMauler says:

    “The American people are just really disgusted and outraged with the department that they see is bloated and inefficient,” Rogers said, complaining that the TSA is moving at a “snail’s pace” to improve its image.

    Hahaha – please name any government agency that doesn’t apply to.

  19. GameHen says:

    I certainly wouldn’t recognize vast quantities of celebrities, especially when they aren’t all gussied-up for the screen.

    Now instead of “the TSA patted down Snookie!11!!”, it will be “how dare the TSA not recognize [B-list celebrity]!!!11!”

  20. Blueskylaw says:

    “”There are certain people that are just so well-known that you’ve just got to use your common sense,”

    Common sense has no place in official government functions – Frisk Them.

    • Pagan wants a +1 button says:

      Yes, because those actors are *exactly* like the characters they play in our living rooms every week. Exactly. The. Same.

  21. Mark702 says:

    The TSA is a corrupt, expensive boondoggle. We the taxpayers throw billions of dollars do the drain only to be molested and harassed by moronic government goons under the guise of security, when in reality, it is simply security theater and an invasion of our privacy and 4th Amendment rights. The TSA agency should be destroyed and it’s employees should be imprisoned or executed.

  22. BigHeadEd says:

    I fully support things like TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (I recently cleared immigration and customs at JFK, entry-to-exit in under 60 seconds, so the background check and face-to-face interview were worth it for me) but I can’t support this PR stunt.

    • Mark702 says:

      Glad you enjoy it. Soon you’ll be able to experience the wonderful TSA process at train stations, government buildings, sports arena, and public schools also!

      • BigHeadEd says:

        I don’t enjoy anything about the normal TSA security process when I’m traveling and I’ve even had the pleasure of going through the scolded schoolboy treatment of a manual pat-down when I refused a body scan. My point was that I was OK with trading privacy in the form of a one-time background check and on-site interview in order to skip as much of the process when I travel.

        • Agent Hooter Enjoys Enhanced Patdowns says:

          In the words of the illustrious Stephen Fry – “The short answer to that is ‘no’. The long answer is ‘f*ck no’.”

        • mcgyver210 says:

          Yes you enjoy giving up your rights to unreasonable search. Do you honestly think it will stop with just an unwarranted background check? If you do it is too late for you because you are already a good follower of the Government Mafia.

          Every time the majority gives up a right easily the enemy takes more until resistance is met or a war breaks out.

  23. dush says:

    Giving rich and famous people such special treatment will surely help their poor customer service image…

  24. snowtires says:

    Wasn’t John Wilkes Booth a famous actor in his time?

  25. Craige says:

    Yes, because celebrities have never been known to carry weapons. Sure, they’re not going to hijack the plane, but once the weapon is on the plane, anything can happen

    Furthermore (and maybe somebody can clear this up for me), I thought the pat-down was only necessary if you set off the metal detector. So the this panel of people is saying that when a celebrity walks through the metal detector and SETS IT OFF, they just be able to stroll along to the plane?

    The TSA screening is ridiculous, but this just undermines the whole ordeal.

    • Happy Tinfoil Cat says:

      The celeb can refuse to go through the Nude-O-Scope which will inevitably show up in tabloids, highly-critiqued. In so doing, they MUST have an enhanced pat down by law.

  26. marc6065 says:

    WOW! They must really be hurting for money if they are flying commercial instead of a private jet!!

  27. FilthyHarry says:

    Correction to the headline: No one but anyone who Beyonce says can pat her down, should pat her down.

  28. LabGnome says:

    So, I see this as basically saying: Terrorists should now recruit celebrity/politician look-alikes and the elderly.

  29. Sad Sam says:

    Totally disagree, if they are going to pat people down, everyone should be eligible. In fact, elected officials and administrative folks should be patted down everytime they fly so maybe, someday, they will do something about this farce.

  30. Elizabeth B says:

    And here I thought the security line was the Great Leveler because everyone had to take off their shoes and fear the pat-down.

  31. Akuma Matata says:

    the only way the TSA improves its image is if it gets disbanded.

  32. Elizabeth B says:

    And here I thought the security line was the Great Leveler because everyone had to take off their shoes and fear the pat-down.

  33. Red_Eye says:

    So we are going to profile by age and celebrity status and political office I assume too?

  34. leprofie says:

    Actually, it was the congressmen themselves who consider themselves celebrities. They think they are above the pat downs. Terrorist scenario: Strap a bomb on a congressman and hold his/her family hostage if he/she doesn’t climb on board the plane after getting a pass because he/she is a celebrity.

  35. Mark702 says:

    Such garbage. What’s there definition of a celebrity? If I’m some moron with a Youtube video with 50 million views, doesn’t that make me a celebrity? How about D-list actors like Kathy Griffin? Does a loser like Snookie get a pass?

  36. Pete the Geek says:

    Treating everyone equally is socialist! Just like Canada. Next they will be talking about universal health care… oh wait…

  37. gman863 says:

    Sounds like the TSA is taking the line about “Beyonce and Lucy Lu, get on the floor” from Outkast’s Hey Ya a bit too seriously.

  38. emilymarion333 says:

    Why should anyone be excluded? As a matter of fact – I got patted down this morning by TSA.

  39. lvixen says:

    If celebrities want to be excluded from TSA security, rent your own damn plane. They can afford it, if not, buck up sonny! Join the rest of us and shut the hell up.

  40. farker22 says:

    what’s justice if the rich get a pass?

  41. dolemite says:

    So: rich and famous with drug problems, tax problems, etc.: No need for the indignity of a pat-down. Joe-Schmoe, working class with not even a parking ticket to his name: probably needs a pat down.

  42. The Cupcake Nazi says:

    So I put my hands up
    They’re gropin my chest
    Not sure if it should feel OK
    Feelin up stars like yeah
    Stealing from my bags like yeah

    Missing from my suitcase
    When I finally arrive
    My sapphires from Bombay
    Yeaahhhhh, it’s a party in the TSA!
    Yeaahhhhh, it’s a party in the TSA!

  43. econobiker says:

    “There are certain people that are just so well-known that you’ve just got to use your common sense,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the subcommittee. “Because if you start patting them down, people are going to say, ‘They’re patting down Beyonce.’ “I mean, she’s not going to blow a plane up.”

    Sure, how about Rep. Rogers get off his private plane and be subject to the same TSA stuff to fly like the rest of us cattle. Bet he’d change his tune then…

  44. TheHighlightGuy says:

    Perfect terrorist plot:
    1.) Become a superstar celebrity
    2.) Bypass TSA
    3.) Perform nefarious deed

  45. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    You know, I’ll take one for the team and volunteer to pat Beyonce down.

    You’re welcome.

  46. HogwartsProfessor says:

    If politicians had to get patted down, the TSA might finally go away. “But nooooooo let’s exempt ourselves from that, along with our favorite celeb hottie!”

  47. Matthew PK says:

    If I am to be subjected to “randomly selected enhanced screening” then it is *completely unacceptable* that celebrities should be somehow exempt.

  48. mcgyver210 says:

    Enter text…Enter text…Enter text…IMO TSA Gestapo are Criminals that should be prosecuted period.

    1. They are not Law Enforcement yet they impersonate LEOs with their unforms & actions.

    2. They also act as sexual Predators based on their actions. My now older son was permanently traumatized by the assault or so called check IMO on him the one & only time he ever flew. He will not fly now.

    Government & its agents are the new Modern Organized Mafia.

    Personally I don’t fly because I will not submit to their assaults voluntarily. If they continue to invade other parts of our lives they will meet a resistance to their criminal activities because I will draw a line in the sand they shouldn’t try to cross. Only issue is unlike them I am law abiding so I will do the right thing.